Wednesday, November 25, 2015

If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together.

Snoa just after completing her
first Half Marathon-the OBX 
One of the best parts of being a running coach is seeing your runners grow not only as runners but as individuals. One such runner, Snoa (pronounced Snow-ā), has been on an amazing journey the past year. Weight loss was her original goal, but along the way she discovered her journey wasn't so much about losing something as it was finding something....herself.

Below is a recent Facebook post of Snoa's that really sums up her accomplishments. Snoa is one of the most driven and dedicated people I know. It's been amazing watching her grow as a runner and as a person.

If you could add titles to posts on Facebook I would call this one “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”.

Thad made this awesome video about all the fall race trainers but I don’t feel like I spent 3 months just training for a race because it really goes much deeper than that.

I spent 3 months forming friendships that I have no doubt will last a lifetime. I read a quote recently that said “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” When you spend 3-4 days a week with people running in extreme heat and humidity and all kinds of weather, you see them at their best and at their worst. You learn that runners are a dedicated, faithful group of people - you have to be to show up in some of the conditions we run in week after week. That dedication is not just to running - it spills over to real life too. You know you can count on these people when you need them.

Snoa and some of her fellow Dudes and Dudettes
sporting their OBX bling at Rooster's Southern Kitchen.
I spent 3 months figuring out life. When you’re out there all by yourself for hours, you have a lot of time to think. Runners often joke that running is cheaper than therapy but it’s true. I worked through so much in my head on those runs this summer and not everything I discovered was “pretty” but that’s life - it’s messy and complicated but there’s also a lot of beauty in it you just have to know where to look. I feel like this summer I rediscovered that beauty, found some truth and at the risk of sounding cheesy - somewhere out there on the greenway, I found myself again.
—Snoa Garrigan

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Man on a Mission: Jacob Sternfeld

Congrats to RunnerDude's Fitness race trainer Jacob Sternfeld who completed the Amsterdam Marathon this weekend. Amsterdam isn't his ultimate goal, however, it was just a part of his training for his primaryracing goal of Athens on November 1st. Jacob wanted to run Amsterdam, because that's where he's originally from. Jacob's goal for Athens was 4:47:00 and he's already blown that out of the water with a 4:29:56 at Amsterdam this weekend. 

To put Jacob's accomplishment into even more perspective, at 50 in 2009, Jacob had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. Before the heart attack, he was smoking 30 cigarettes daily. After the heart attack he dedicated himself to fitness, quiting smoking and dropping 40lbs. And quite the commitment it has been, since 2009, Jacob has accomplished quite and amazing feat...becoming an Abbot World Marathon Majors Six Star Finisher. To obtain this honor he's completed the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, NYC, and Chicago marathons. 

Jacob lives in Chapel Hill, so he's been to the studio, but mainly we communicate via email for his training. He is very dedicated and committed to his goals. Oddly enough through our training discussions, we've discovered that his wife and mine with to high school together at Durham Academy in Durham, NC. Small world indeed.

In a few weeks he'll be running the Athens Marathon (a marathon I dream of completing one day). I know that Jacob will have an awesome run. If you ever think it's too late to make changes in your life, think of Jacob. To read more about Jacob's amazing story click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The 3-Rep Exercise?

8-10, 10-12, 12-15...these are the common number of reps you'd do for any give exercise. Ever heard of a 3-rep exercise? I have one plank exercise where 3 reps is plenty. Actually it may take a while to master 1 or 2 reps. This exercise-the Med Ball Roll-Out Plank-takes the front plank to an entirely different level. It works all of your core, glutes, lower-back, legs, and upper-body! Note: Don't attempt this exercise until you've mastered holding a regular front plank for at least 60 seconds.

To complete the Med Ball Roll-Out Plank, position yourself in a dolphin plank (arms extended) position with both hands a top a hard medicine ball. Your hands and the ball should be directly under your chest (see fig. 1). Keeping the core engaged, use your hands to slowly roll the med ball forward away from your body (see fig. 2). Continue rolling out the ball as far as you can (see fig. 3), keeping in mind that you're going to have to roll the ball back to the start position. Once you've rolled the ball back to the start position, that's one rep. See how many reps you can do.
Note: It's important to keep your core engaged and your back flat during the entire movement. Do not let your back sag. A modified version of this exercise can be done by placing your knees on the floor.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Send a Coach to Sweden!

Many of you know that I do corporate training as a part of my RunnerDude's Fitness running coaching and fitness business. Since 2011 I've had the privilege of working with Volvo Trucks/Mack Trucks and Volvo Financial. Their North American Headquarters is located here in Greensboro, NC. I travel to the Volvo campus 5 days a week for about 2 hours midday. I usually have 3-4 different running and/or walking groups in progress year-round. Currently I have a Beginning Running Group, Running for Weight Loss Group, and a Pacers Running Group. I've also done fitness walking groups and race training groups. Volvo is a very health forward thinking company. Not only do they provide classes such as my running classes, they also offer, fitness training classes and yoga. I've worked with over 200 employees in the past 4 years and it's been awesome seeing some of them go from doing no running to running their first half marathon or from being overweight to losing 60 pounds!

I have trained several half marathon groups through Volvo. We've run the Charlotte Race Fest Half, the City of Oaks Half, the Race 13.1 Winston-Salem and Race 13.1 Greensboro Half, the Lookout Capital Half Marathon, and the Greensboro Half Marathon. Because of the success with the various running and race training programs, Volvo invited me to run with their corporate team at the 2015 Gothenburg Half Marathon in Gothenburg, Sweden, the international headquarters for Volvo. It's a great honor to be invited to participate in an international running event of this caliber and even more of an honor to be able to run it with runners that I have previously coached.

Being a small business owner and father of three, my funds are limited. Mustering the travel and lodging funds for the trip to Sweden to be with my runners will be a challenge. Many of my runners suggested setting up a GoFundMe page. So, I did. And as a result so many wonderfully supportive runners have contributed. Any donations to help me reach my goal would be greatly appreciated. I plan to document my experience here on RunnerDude's Blog so that everyone can have a virtual experience with me and the runners while in Gothenburg.

Be sure to check out the Gold, Silver, and Bronze donation levels. Each level will enter you in a drawing for a chance to win either a $100, $75, or $50 REI gift card. I'll announce the three lucky winners on the blog on May 21, 2016, the day of the Gothenburg Half Marathon. Individuals donating at the Gold level will also receive a copy of my book, Full-Body Fitness for Runners, which contains over 90 exercises for runners, nutrition info, and more! To donate, click here or on the box below.

A little info about the Gothenburg Half's the world's largest half marathon with over 64,000 runners and over 200,000 spectators. Check out this video clip on the event! In 2021, the city will host its first full marathon in celebration of the city's 400th anniversary.

A huge heart-felt thanks to those who have already made a donation! Thanks!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Three Simple Breakfast Meals Perfect For Runners

Properly fueling your long run is key to a successful run. Most long runs take place in the early morning,
so a good breakfast is key in providing the needed macronutrients for the long haul. There is no one perfect pre-run food for runners, because runners are all so different. Between allergies, GI issues, and various likes and dislikes, it's almost impossible to say eat exactly this or that. Instead a runner needs to make sure he/she is getting the proper caloric intake as well as the proper balance of carbohydrates and protein. 200-400 calories is a good number of calories to take in about 1 to 1.5 hours before your long run.You want more easily digestible carbs than protein. a 3;1 OR 4:1 carbs to protein ratio is good. The carbs will provide the glycogen which is the fuel for your muscles. The protein will work to help begin the rebuilding process. This same carb/protein ratio is also great for your post run-recovery snack.

I've prepared the following video to show you three simple-to-make breakfast meals that I eat before my long runs.

Here are a few more pre-run fueling ideas from my book Full-Body Fitness for Runners.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chickpeas: A Great Source of Fiber, Potassium, and Protein!

Whether you call them Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas, this funny sounding food is packed with great nutrition particularly for a runner. Chickpeas are a fiber-rich food. Fiber-rich foods not only help keep you regular, but they help you feel full longer.  Fiber (especially soluble fiber as found in chickpeas) helps to lower blood cholesterol and slow the absorption of sugar. So, if you're diabetic, this is a great food for you.  As for runners, chickpeas contain calcium and magnesium. Calcium is needed for muscle contraction and magnesium is needed for bone maintenance as well as proper function of nerves and muscles.  Chickpeas are also packed with potassium. This heart-healthy macronutrient and electrolyte is needed for a contracted muscle to relax. So, as a runner, keeping your potassium stores topped off helps stave off possible muscle cramps from depleted potassium stores lost through perspiration.  And to top it off , they're a good source of vegetable protein.  Chances are you've eaten Hummus , a popular middle eastern spread. Hummus is actually Arabic for chickpea. Hummus is readily available at your local grocery store and is also easy to make at home. Click here for a simple recipe. Chickpeas also make a great addition to any salad or pasta dish.  Added to a salad, chickpeas add a hearty meaty texture  and because of the high fiber, makes a salad more filling and satisfying. My family makes a great Chicken Primavera that incorporates chickpeas and it's awesome! Check out the recipe here.  

Five Important Lower-Body Exercises for Runners

When you think of lower-body exercises, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are the top-of-mind muscle groups to work, right? Well, yes and no. Each of these muscle groups are important and depending on the runner one group may need to be worked more than another. But, there's an entirely different group of muscles that often get overlooked by most runners. These muscles (abductors and adductors) are found laterally on the outside and inside of the legs. There is not one abductor and one adductor muscle, rather they are a collection of different muscles that work to pull the legs away from or toward the body or to create internal or external rotation of the leg. They also work to provide stability and balance in the lower body. The glute medius muscle is a hip-abductor muscle that provides stability in the whole pelvic region when walking and running. It's when this muscle is tight or weak that often results in runners knee. Adductors running down the inside of the leg help provide stability as well as help with acceleration when running. Adductors are the only muslces in the lower-body that are continuously firing throughout the entire running stride cycle. Keeping these muscle groups well conditioned will not only help make you a more efficient runner, it will help decrease the chance of  injury and falling. The video below shows five simple exercises that are very effective in working your abductor and adductor muscles. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Orange: Great Last Minute Pre-Run Fuel

Ever realize 15-30 minutes before a run that you forgot to fuel up? Grab an orange! An orange has 100% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Vitamin C helps prevent muscle injury by replacing collagen in the muscle fibers that bread down during running. Oranges provide needed simple carbohydrates, but they're low on the glycemic index so their natural sugars won't cause your blood sugar to spike and crash. Oranges also contain quercitrin, a citrus flavonoid, that some research shows helps to
increase tolerance for exercise, quicken recovery time, and increase performance. Eat a whole orange not orange juice before a run. Orange juice has a much higher concentration of the natural sugars and may cause GI issues in some runners. So, keep a few oranges on hand for those times you forget to fuel or just want to give yourself an extra boost.

Upper-Body and Core Workout for Runners

Like yesterday's Lower-Body/Core HIIT, this Upper-Body/Core HIIT workout is perfect for runners. A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout doesn't take much time, but gives a lot of bang for your bucks. The workout consists of 6 exercises-3 core and 3 upper-body. Complete each exercise for 20 secs moving from one exercise directly into the next exercise, taking no rest in between. After completing the 6th exercise, take a 1-minute rest break, then repeat the HIIT in the same fashion for a total of 5 rounds. The whole workout takes only 20 minutes. This format jacks up the heart rate ramping up your metabolism. The exercised selected in this workout target the core and upper-body muscle groups that help support and ensure good running form. The only equipment needed is a mat (or carpeted area) and some light dumbbells. Give it a try! Tomorrow I'll post some great lateral movement lower-body exercises that help prevent injury and increase stability and balance, all important to good running, so check that one out too! Check out my other workouts for runners on YouTube.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Potatoes: A Great Food for Runners!

Running and pasta are like Bert & Ernie, Yin & Yang, Lavern & Shirley, Thelma & Louise. That's all well and fine. Pasta is a great source of carbs for fueling your runs, but did you know that thepotato is a nutritious source of  carbohydrates, even more than rice or pasta? Yep, this often shunned veggie has gotten a bad wrap in the whole anti-carb movement. Like many foods, it's how you prepare it that makes or breaks the nutritional value of the spud. Cover it with butter, melted cheese, and bacon bits and you've created "food porn." Bake it and top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt and voilà, nutritious yumminess! Sport nutritionist Nancy Clark supports the spud too.  She shares that this super veggie is a great source of Vitamin C (gives 1/2 of your daily needs) and provides the potassium you'd lose in three hours of sweaty exercise. It's cousin the sweet potato provides even more health benefits!  A standard potato (like you'd get with a restaurant meal) contains around 200 calories. That's about the same as most sports bars. The spud makes a great pre-and post-run snack as well as a part of a meal. Pre-baked spuds that are sliced and refrigerated make great snacks before or after a run.  In her book, NancyClark's Food Guide for Marathoners, she gives some great ideas for potato toppers such as low-fat salad dressing; low-fat sour cream, chopped onion, and low-fat shredded cheddar cheese; cottage cheese and garlic powder; milk mashed into the potato; plain yogurt (I like using the Greek yogurt. It's very similar to sour cream); flavored vinegars; soy sauce; steamed veggies like broccoli; chopped jalapeno peppers; lentils or lentil soup (I like topping it with veggie chili or black beans); applesauce.  Worried about the potato being high on the Glycemic Index? Valid concern, but did you know that when you pair the spud with certain foods, it actually lowers its GI? Adding healthy fats to your spud such as olive oil, sour cream or avocados, will lower the GI. Increasing the acidity by adding vinegar, citrus or salsa lowers the GI of the spud too. Eating the potato with the skin on increased the fiber slowing digestion and lowering the GI. Oddly enough, cooking the potato, then cooling it before you eat it, lowers the GI. So, give the spud a try!!

Lower-Body and Core Workout for Runners

This Lower-Body/Core HIIT workout is perfect for runners. A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout doesn't take much time, but gives a lot of bang for your bucks. The workout consists of 6 exercises-3 core and 3 lower-body. Complete each exercise for 20 secs moving from one exercise directly into the next exercise, taking no rest in between. After completing the 6th exercise, take a 1-minute rest break, then repeat the HIIT in the same fashion for a total of 5 rounds. The whole workout takes only 20 minutes. This format jacks up the heart rate ramping up your metabolism. The exercised selected in this workout target the core and all the major muscle groups in the lower body. The only equipment needed is a mat (or carpeted area) and a medicine ball. Don't have a medicine ball? No problem, use a large detergent bottle or fill an empty 1-gallon milk jug with water to use as  your weight. Give it a try! Tomorrow I'll post an Upper-Body/Core HIIT for Runners, so check that one out too! Check out my other workouts for runners on YouTube.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Running Rub You the Wrong Way?

Does running rub you the wrong way? No, I mean literally? If you've ever been a victim of runner's
rash or chafing. you know it's no fun. There's nothing worse than being out on a 10-mile run and halfway through you realize the skin between your legs, in the nether region, is ready to ignite. Well, maybe not realizing you've actually chafed until after the run when the shower water hits the irritated area and you scream bloody murder bringing the entire family into the bathroom, is worse...not that that's ever happened to me.

So, who gets it and why? Really it can effect anyone. Overweight and skinny, new runner and seasoned. Everyone is fair game. Typically chafing is caused by friction between skin and fabric, but it can also be caused by skin-on-skin. Men often experience the skin/fabric irritation at the nipple area on the chest. I've seen a few male runners finish a marathon looking like victims of drive-by shootings with two red dots centered on both pecs followed by a bloody trail down their singlets to their shorts. Not a pretty sight. Women often experience similar chafing in various areas around the straps of their jog bras. I once ran shirtless in only my running shorts, socks, shoes, and my hydration belt. The run went fine. When I later got in the shower I discovered (the whole family did too when I screamed in pain as the shower water hit me) that I had a huge welt at my waist where the belt rubbed me raw and I didn't even know it.

Skin-on-skin chafing often happens between the thighs, but it can happen elsewhere too. Heat and humidity often make great conditions for chafing. So, those of us living in the hot humid South of the USA, are well aware of summer chafing woes.

Below are a few tips for how to prevent chafing and how to deal with it if you already have it.

1. Wear clothing with a closer fit. Men, I've found that singlets and running shirts that fit more snugly in the chest area, reduces the movement of the fabric therefore decreasing the friction between the fabric and your nips. Also, pay more attention to the fabric of your shirts. Not all technical fabrics are the same. Most technical running shirts are made of 100% polyester. Even though two different shirts may be made of `100% polyester, the design of the weave can really make a difference in moisture management and texture. The weave of the fabric can really play a big part in whether it's abrasive or not to your skin. So, when you're in the running store, don't just  buy the coolest looking shirt. Buy the one with the softest fabric. Many technical compression shirts incorporate Lycra or spandex in with the polyester which makes it stretchy and softer. Now I'm not a big fan of the compression shirts that are so tight I feel like a sausage casing when I put it on and start to wheeze because I can't expand my lungs enough to get in air, but I have found they can be useful in decreasing friction. However, when I buy a compression shirt or singlet, I don't buy it for the compression, I buy it for a closer fit. So even though I usually wear a men's small in a normal shirt, in a compression shirt I'll often get a Large. The large doesn't squeeze the life out of me but it gives me a closer fit than a regular shirt.
     Same idea applies to shorts. Running shorts with a lot of excessive fabric may increase the chance of chafing. Also, shorts with a really long crotch may allow skin-on-skin contact that can cause chafing for some. So, buy shorts with minimal leg fabric. Compression shorts are also a good option in reducing fabric-on-skin friction. I see ladies wearing compression shorts and 3/4 running tights all the time. Guys if you don't want all the world to see your manhood, you can wear the compression shorts underneath a pear of running shorts. I've found, if I'm going to do that, cutting out the built in liner of the running shorts is more comfortable when pairing running shorts with compression shorts.

2. Cover it up. Tried altering your clothing and still having chafing issues? Then try covering the affected area(s) with a physical barrier. To protect your nips, try covering them with bandaids. The circular bandaids work well. I've discovered that the waterproof bandaids work best, especially if you sweat heavily. They work so well, in fact that once I used them I discovered I had two water balloons on my chest after finishing a marathon. Kind of embarrassing, but funny too. Felt kind of like a stripper with pasties. Another neat trick it to use Dr. Scholl's moleskin and cut your own round protective covers to place over your nips. The off-brand moleskin tends not to stick as well or as long, so pay a little more for the Dr. Scholl's. There are also products such as NipGuards and NipEAZE which are similar to bandaids, but desigend especially for runners to protect runners' nipples.

3. Slather it on. If a physical barrier doesn't work, try a topical cream or salve. There are many different topical products that you can wipe on, massage in, or roll on the affected areas in advance of your run to prevent chafing or to protect and already chafed area during your run. Some of these you may already have in your medicine cabinet. Vaseline and Aquaphor are two such products. Both can be used to help prevent chafing or to deal with it after you already have it. I've found that Vaseline is a bit messy, stains, and wears off quickly, but in a bind it's better than nothing. Aquaphor actually works really well. It lasts pretty long and doesn't seem to stain like Vaseline. It's also a great soother for chafed areas after the run. Another product you can find at the local pharmacy or drug store is Lanacane's Anti-Chafing Gel. This applies like a gel but quickly dries like a powder. Works pretty well. There are also many anti-chafing products made specifically for runners and cyclists. They include Body Glide, Skin Glide, Run Guard, Anti Monkey Butt Powder, Boudreaux's Butt Paste, and Chamois Butt'r. I personally use and like Body Glide. It comes in a container much like deodorant and you apply it to your skin much like you would deodorant.

4. Try it before Race Day! Whether it's race day clothing or one of the anti chafing products mentioned above, be sure to test them out on several runs prior to race day. Never, never, never, never wear new clothing on race day. Best to discover the shorts you purchased are really an inner thigh torture device disguised as running shorts during a training run rather than on race day. Same goes for the anti-chafing product sample somebody hands you at the race expo. Do not use it on your tender little nips or nether regions on race day if you've not tried it on a previous long run. You don't want to run the risk of it just plain not working or worse, having an allergic reaction to it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Don't Sabotage Your Workout With A "Reward!"

We are definitely a reward-based society. Every time we do something good, we want to be rewarded
or recognized. Nothing wrong with a reward, but let's save it for the big stuff, like finishing training for your first 5K race, crossing the finish line of a Marathon, or setting a new PR, not for finishing your Wednesday night workout.

We have all been guilty at times of using our "workout" as justification for having that treat. "Oh, I just worked out. Now I can have the beer, candy bar, triple chocolate brownie, sundae, or those fries....oh those fries."

Problem is the general public tends to way over estimate their calorie burn from a workout. To give you and idea of what I'm  (male/5'6"/135lbs/50yrs old) actually burning in a typical 1-hour workout, check out the stats below:
Vigorous weight lifting = 372 calories
Circuit Training-Cross Fit = 518 calories
Vigorous Spinning Class = 696 calories
Running at a 10-min pace = 615 calories
Running at a 8:34-min pace = 704 calories

Keep in mind that the stats above are for 60 minutes of solid working out. Not one hour of doing some reps, talking with a friend, doing a few more reps, talking to another friend, and so on.

Big box gyms often come equipped with a smoothie or juice bar. Nothing wrong with that. I've even played around with the idea of offering them here at my fitness studio. Problem is, if you're not the one making the smoothie, you have no idea how many calories are going into that smoothie.

For example, Smoothie King's 20oz High Protein Chocolate Smoothie has 366 calories. So for my one hour of heavy weight lifting, I netted out with a burn of  6 calories, if I treat myself to this smoothie! BUT.....keep in mind ,the 20oz is their small. When I 've been at Smoothie King, I rarely see a person order a 20oz, unless it's for a kid. Usually patrons are ordering the 32oz or the 40oz. For that same Chocolate smoothie, the 32oz packs 549 cals and the 40oz packs a whopping 732 calories. So, if I ordered either of the 2 larger sizes, I've just taken in 177 or 360 more calories than I actually burned working out. Maybe if I had  run for 60 mins the 20oz would be an appropriate refueling snack post workout. When I do my long 20+ milers, I make a pretty high calorie smoothie. I've burned about 2500 calories on the run and my smoothie that I make myself contains about 565 calories and is about 20oz.

You can quickly see if you're not aware of how many calories your burning and what you're treating yourself with post workout, you may just be sabotaging all your hard work. Now I'm not trying to make Smoothie King or any smoothie shop the bad guy. They have a product to sell and for the most part it's a good product. I've never been in a Smoothie King where they've tried to push the 40oz "The Hulk" strawberry smoothie with  1928 calories on me. It's up to me as the consumer to know what I'm eating or drinking.

So how much should you eat after a run? In her book, Food Guide for Marathoners, sports nutrition guru, Nancy Clark recommends you take in 200-400calories comprised of about 50-100g of carbs and about 10g of protein within an hour of running. I tell my runners to try and get it in within 30 mins of completing their run. Now keep in mind the range of 200-400 calories. 400 calories is more appropriate following a really hard speed workout or long run, while 200 calories is more appropriate following an easy run. My smoothie is a little more than the 400 calorie limit, but like I mentioned earlier, I only drink that after a 20+ mile run. Twelve ounces of 1% chocolate milk has 240 calories and 16g of protein. making it a perfect post-run recovery snack for a shorter less intense run. Other good options include Greek or traditional yogurt with added fruit, a bagel with peanut butter, an energy bar (be sure to read the label for calorie and carb/protein content), a peanut butter and banana sandwich, spaghetti with meat sauce, or a turkey sandwich, etc.

Celebrate the small gains you make in your fitness and running with the satisfaction of a job well done, and save those "treats" for the big long-term accomplishments. Save those extra calories for that celebratory victory meal with your friends and family.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Scoop on Poop

If you’re like me and my running buddies, we’ve had conversations about just about everything under the sun while on the run, but for some reason, poop rarely makes the list. Everyone wants to ask, but often don’t. Maybe it’s looked at as a sign of weakness, because it’s something we feel we can’t control. Or maybe it’s because of our 5th-grade nature to make fun of poop…example just recently when the football player pooped his pants during a play making national news.

Well, I don’t’ think much is going to change regarding the humor around poop. It will always be the butt of jokes (no pun intended…well maybe, LOL!). So that’s why I’m writing this post on poop. Yes, there will always be those times where out of the blue, you have a gut attack on a run, and you have no idea where it came from or why? You suffer through the run miserable. But there are some things that can be done to lessen the frequency of poop attacks on the run as well as how to better deal with them when they do occur.

I’m somewhat of an expert on this issue. You see, I have ulcerative colitis-an autoimmune disease which affects the gut. I was diagnosed with UC about 15 years ago. Luckily I’ve been able to keep it pretty much in remission, although what’s normal for me probably isn’t normal for a non UC person. Four bathroom visits In a day is the “new normal” for me. That’s good! A person in the midst of a UC flare can go 15+ times a day. Even though my “remission” keeps things pretty tame, I’ve had to learn how to adapt my running accordingly. Below are a few tips that will help anyone dealing with poop issues on the run:

Happens to the Best of Us: I truly think people don’t talk about this topic or seek help, because it makes us look like we are weak, have no control. Well my best advice for that is “get over it.” Even elite runners have bouts with the dreaded poop attack on a run. Paula Radcliffe had to pull off the course in 2005 to take a dump right there in front of everyone. Finishing with a little lighter load, she went on to win the race. I’ll never forget years ago watching the NYC marathon with one of my favorite marathoners, 9-time NYC winner Greta Weiss. She had diarrhea and was running with toilet paper. Of course the press gave her no mercy and had a camera on her the entire race. Even so, she prevailed and won the race. Uta Pippig, the 1996 Women’s winner of the Boston Marathon won that race with cramps and diarrhea. Even Greensboro claim to tennis fame, John Isner had to take a bathroom break during the marathon match in 2010 with Nicolas Mahut. So, you are not alone. Everybody poops.

Food for Thought: A little advance planning with your eating can be a big help in deterring poop attacks. I’m all about a high fiber diet including whole grains, fruits, and veggies. However, these awesome foods are not very run friendly, particularly long-runs. The day before a really long run or an endurance race or event, cut way back on the complex carbs and high fiber foods. You need to stock your body with glycogen which is the fuel you’ll be using on the run, but the day before, eat simple carbs (regular pasta, white bread, white rice, etc.). Yes…you have my permission to each simple carbs the day before a long run. BUT……these simple carbs should not be laden with a lot of fat. High fiber and fatty foods take longer to digest. So, even if you cut back to only simple carbs the day before a long run or race, if all you ate were Dunkin Donuts, all that fat may still be churning in your gut the next day on the run. A churning gut is not what you want on a long run. So, eat the day before. Eat plenty, but keep it simple and low in fat.

Clear the Gut: Reducing bulk is a great way to prevent bathroom issues on the run. Clearing out the pipes before the run is another good method. Having a routine before a long run and/or race is your best bet. Train your body to go to the bathroom after eating your pre-run meal. It can be done. I’ve found that having coffee with my pre-run meal helps. Caffeine causes peristalsis which is what triggers your brain to know it needs to go to the bathroom. Also, I think the warmth of the coffee moves things along. This may mean getting up earlier to eat, drink, and poop. Those few less minutes of sleep are worth it. A friend of mine that has UC has discovered that drinking a glass of Metamucil before going to bed ensures that he’s able to clear his gut before his run. This may not work for everyone, but for him it helps ensure that he’s “empty” for the run. Note: Do not try this the night before a race, if you’ve never tried it before!!!

Back to That Caffeine Thing: Caffeine is a great energy booster. Seems like just about everything now has added caffeine, even many of sports gels. Problem is that the same caffeine that produces an energy boost, can start peristalsis…what tells your brain you need to poop. So, if you’re prone to poop attacks on the run, ask yourself if they tend to happen shortly after taking a gel? If so, and your gels contain caffeine, try using a non-caffeinated gel and see if you get the same result.

Watch the Sugar-Free Foods: Sugar-free sounds good. Lower carbs means lower sugar and high-sugar foods can sometimes upset the GI tract. BUT...many sugar-free foods contain sorbitol which is known to cause diarrhea. Many sugar-free chewing gums and sugar-free hard candy contains sorbitol. So, check the label.

Stay Hydrated: You greatly increase your chance of GI distress when you sweat out 4% of your body weight on a run.  That's about 5lbs in a 125lb runner and about 6lbs for a 150lb runner. Six pounds sounds like a lot, but you can easily lose that much fluid on a long run. So, go into your long runs and races well hydrated by drinking water throughout the day before the run. Don't drink to excess, however. Then on the run, be sure to replace fluids by drinking water/sports drink throughout the run.

Stick to Your Routine: Sometimes I think I may appear unsocial when it comes to group race trips because I tend not to partake in the group house sharing. I usually get my own hotel room. Reason? Well, I need to know that I can stick to my race morning routine. I need to know that the bathroom will be free. I need to not be worried that my morning blasts will be heard by all. I need to be relaxed and in my normal routine. Nothing will break your confidence more going into a race than thinking, dang I should have gone to the potty one more time.

Wipes to the Rescue: I’ve had runners tell me many different things they’ve used to clean themselves when surprised by a poop attack during a run with no bathroom available. Everything from socks, to race bibs, to leaves. Be careful with using the natural fauna, the one runner I know that thought using nearby leaves was a good idea soon had a bigger issue…poison ivy. OUCH! If you’re prone to bathroom issues and you’re running an unfamiliar route or if you just want to be on the safe side in a race or long run, try packing some wipes. Take 5 or 6 personal wipes and place them in a Ziploc baggie. Press all the air out, then seal the bag. Fold the bag up and put it in a pocket in your shorts, the little pocket on many hydration belts or handheld water bottles, or just pin it to the inside or outside of your shorts.

Acclimation Baby!:  Runner's trots is common among beginning runners. Why? Well increased exercise or just increasing your activity level beyond what your body is used to can cause an overactive GI. Hang in there, your body will adapt. Marathon trainers often experience a similar thing at the onset of their training. Even though they are used to running and have a normally high activity level, when they increase it with added speed workouts and long runs, the body can say , Whoaa!! The body will adapt once if figures out you're going to keep doing this.

“Poop-ouflage”: Prone to bathroom issues? Wear black! May not help with the physical symptoms you’re experiencing, but it will help keep the masses from knowing (at least visually) if you’ve had an accident.

Plot out the Potties: If you’re running city greenways and /or parks, scope out where the public restrooms are located and then plot your running route so that they fall strategically within your route. Even if you don’t need them for a bathroom break, it’s good to know one is along the route just in case. I discovered one such public facility at a ball park along one of our greenways that’s in a perfect location. I can easily run about 7 miles to this location and then do two different out-n-backs from the same facility making for a great 20-mile run. I can use the bathroom if need be as well as refill my water bottle (there’s a water fountain here as well) several times. For race time, find out where the port-o-potties will be located along the race course. If the information is not provided on the race website, email the race director. They should be able to provide you with this information.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Take a Tour!

Check out the video below to take a quick tour of RunnerDude's Fitness and all it has to offer! After the video, be sure to check out our website!

RunnerDude's Fitness Studio Tour from Thad McLaurin on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Perfect Post-Run Recovery Smoothie

The optimal refueling window after a long run is 15-30 mins. With a few ingredients on hand, you can whip up this post-run recovery smoothie in no time and be on your way to a quick recovery! Give it a try!

RunnerDude Post Run Recovery Smoothie from Thad McLaurin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Know Your Numbers

The scale is a scary piece of equipment for many. Its reading can mean triumph or defeat. Used in the
correct manner, the scale can give you great information about your body composition.

Below are a few tips to make the most of your scale and use to help you evaluate your progress beyond just how much you weigh.

  • Calibrate your scale: You can pick up a spring scale for under $20 at any big box discount store, but the old saying, "You get what you pay for" really holds true with the cheaper scales. Spring scales provide the least accurate reading. If you are using a spring scale (the kind you step on and the needle moves around a dial to reveal your weight), make sure it's calibrated correctly. To do this, have your doctor weigh you or weight yourself on a balance scale at the gym (the type you stand on and move the weight balance to reveal your weight). Once you have your accurate weight, stand on your spring scale and see if there is any difference. Usually, you'll weight less on the spring scale. So, if you're 4lbs lighter on the spring scale, then move the needle on the scale from "0" to "4." This will give  you a more accurate reading.
  • Same time, same place: Keep your scale in the same location, don't move it around. Particularly with spring scales, the more it's moved around, the more likely the calibration will get off. So avoid storing it in a cabinet and taking it out each time you weigh. Also, weigh yourself at the same time each day. Within the same day, your weight can vary +/ several pounds. A morning weight and an afternoon weight can be very different. 
  • Expect variance: Having your weight vary +/ 2-4 lbs from weigh-in to weigh-in is normal. As long as your weight stays within that +/ range, you're fine. If the trend is that it keeps getting higher, that's a different story. Hydration, the types of food you've eaten, the amount of food you've eaten, bowel movements (or the lack there of) can all affect your weight and it has nothing to do with decreased or increased body fat. Just normal fluctuations of your body. Exercise can cause muscles to retain water and eating carbohydrates can cause your body to retain water. You should not avoid either, it's natural. That water retention is temporary and not body-fat weight gain. If you've ever carb-loaded before a marathon, you may have had that bloated feeling and the scale may say you've gained a pound or two. That's actually a good thing. That means your body is retaining some water meaning you'll be well hydrated on race day. During the race, that water will come in handy and you'll lose that extra water weight.
  • Invest in a good scale: While many purchase the spring scale because it's more affordable,
    it really doesn't give you the big picture. All it provides is your weight. Owning or having access to an electrostatic impedance scale will provide you with a wealth of data that will give you more information about your body composition. This type of scale looks similar to a spring scale, but there is no dial. It has a digital display. You stand on this type of scale barefoot (it needs skin contact for an accurate reading). While standing, the scale sends an electrical impulse up through your body. Don't worry, you feel nothing and it's safe. The rate at which this impulse travels determines everything from your weight, body fat %, lean mass, water %, visceral fat, BMR, MET age, bone mass and more. Many fitness studios and gyms have such scales, if you're not ready to purchase your own. Depending on what you buy, you can expect to pay about $60 to several hundred dollars for such a scale. In the studio, I use the Ironman by Tanita and it runs about $150. 
  • Take some data: Now I don't mean keep an obsessive log of each weigh-in, but it's a good idea to periodically record your stats. This gives you a benchmark from which to compare progress.
  • Know your numbers: Have you been working on your nutrition with a weight loss goal and working out? Have you be perplexed feeling like you've lost weight but the scale is telling you something different? Clothes feel lose. You feel better than you ever have before. You're eating smart. But that dang scale keeps saying you've either lost nothing or gained! Well, if you know your numbers, then that weight gain may be a good thing. WHAT? Crazy talk, right? Nope...a good thing. For example, last year about this time, I decided to drop about 25lbs. I was getting ready to turn 50 and I wanted to head off that middle-age weight gain. So, I began to make sure I was getting in "Me" workouts and "Me" runs. While I didn't go on a diet, I did start to be more cognizant of what I was eating and making smarter decisions about what I was eating. As a result I lost that 25lbs. the past 2 months, the scale has shown a weight gain. Now this would cause a panic in most individuals. Weight gain must mean body fat gain. Right? Not always. Fortunatly I knew my nubmers. In the past two months, I've been upping my resistance training. I looked back my the data I had recorded from my weigh-ins and I saw that my body fat had not increased. It was still at the lower end of the healthy range. What had changed was my lean muscle mass. I had gained some muscle! Six pounds of muscle in fact! Awesome! This muscle gain actually makes me look even leaner. It also, means I'm stronger and have more muscular endurance which is supporting me on my runs, particularly my long runs. 
  • Men and Women are not created equal...when it comes to body fat: Healthy body fat % numbers for mean an women are apples and oranges, so know your numbers. I can't tell you how many ladies have heard me say their body fat is 25% and they're devastated, when that's an awesome body fat perfect for ladies. Actually the low end of the healthy range for an 18-year old female is 21%. As you know, men and women are physically very different. Women need more body fat. The low end of the healthy range for an 18-year old male is 8%. Men do not need as much body fat. But remember that the young lady at 21% body fat isn't fat because she has 13% more body fat than her male counterpart. It means she's lean and has exactly what she needs for her body to function properly. Below are the healthy body fat ranges for men and women. 
  • Not all body fat % measures are equal: The most accurate way to determine percent of body fat is to do a water displacement test...the "Tank Test." This is the test where you're submerged under water.  While this is the most accurate, it's not the most convenient and it can be expensive. There are several other methods used to determine body fat percent such as the electrostatic impedance scale I mentioned above, an air displacement test, and a caliper pinch test. All of the non water-displacement tests have a +/error rate of 4%. I've had two different clients (one female, one male, one physically fit and one not as fit) have the tank test done. The next day they came to the studio and we checked their body fat using the electrostatic impedance scale. The body fat of both individuals was 4% higher on the electrostatic impedance scale as compared to the tank test. So when using the scale with my clients, I give them a range. If the scale says their body fat is 25%, then I tell them their body fat could be as low as 21% and as high at 25%, both of which are healthy. Determining body % percent at home is not an exact science. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you're not wanting to loose/gain weight, you want the number you see to remain constant. If you're trying to lose weight, you want to see that number get smaller over time. 
  • Don't become discouraged. In today's rush, rush, quick-fix society, we often want immediate results. If you have extra weight you want to lose, it's going to take time. Losing weight slowly over a longer period of time has a much higher "keep-it-off" success rate than dropping a lot of weight in a short period of time. If you're combining exercise along with weight loss, you may not see much change on the scale initially, even though your clothes may feel looser. Just like I described above, you may be increasing your muscle mass while at the same time decreasing your body fat %. So on the scale it may be a wash. This often happens the first month or so. Stick with it and your weight loss will start to show on the scale. Taking girth  or circumference measurements of your hips, waist, thighs, calves, biceps, chest, etc, is also a great idea. After a couple of months of your new diet and exercise regimine, retake your girth measurements and even though the scale may not reflect a huge weight loss, you may discover you've lost an inch in your waist, a half-inch in your calf, a couple inches in your thigh. More proof that your body composition shifting in the right direction.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Labels, Labels, Labels!

Pick up most any food product in your local supermarket and you'll more than likely be bombarded by catch phrases, slogans, and labels. The labels can be confusing. The USDA and FDA are responsible for many of these terms and labels. However, many are engineered by the food industry to help promote and sell their products. They can look and sound very official. The problem is that often the public can't tell fact from fiction and even if they do recognize the officially USDA or FDA regulated terms and labels, they many not fully understand what these labels mean. Trying to buy healthy products for your family sometimes feels like a crapshoot.

I read a lot of professional journals and one of my favorite is IDEA Fitness Journal published by the IDEA Health & Fitness Association. Each year they publish an issue that's focused on nutrition. The March 2015 issue contains an awesome article titled "What you don't know about food labeling could undermine your health" written by Megan Senger. Most of the article presents information on food labeling from experts Brian Wansink, PhD, a marketing professor and behavioral economist expert at Cornell University in NY state who directs the university's Food and Brand Lab and Yoni Freedhoff, MD, a physician, professor, and weight loss specialist in Ottawa, Ontario.

Senger states that the food industry is one of the top advertisers in the U.S. (Chandon & Wansink 2013). $116 billion was spent  marketing healthy fruits and veggies in 2012. 4.6 billion was spent marketing fast food. That's a lot of money. The food industry is using healthy claims to help sell their foods. Unfortunately due to the creative, inventive, and confusing "healthy" terminology, consumers aren't always purchasing exactly what they think they're purchasing.

Below you'll find several USDA regulated terms  that I pulled from Senger's article. You'll also find her explanation of each term so that the next time you're at the grocery store you'll be better prepared to separate the fact from fiction.

Natural: Under FDA jurisdiction (produce and many packaged foods), "natural" and "all-natural" are meaningless. You need to be careful and really inspect  these products to make sure it supports good health. Under USDA jurisdiction (animal products) "natural" has a little more meaning. These products must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. But, be careful, because a natural label does not include any standards on farm practices and does not require the "prudent use of antibiotics" nor does it bar the use of growth hormones.

Naturally Raised: This is a "voluntary standard" which indicates that livestock used for meat have been raised entirely without growth promotants and antibiotics and have never been fed animal byproducts. However this term does not address animal welfare or the use of eco-friendly farm practices.

Organic: Irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides and genetically modified organisms cannot be used on crops that bear the USDA Organic seal. The use of "organic" is regulated on most U.S. foods, however not for seafood. the U.S. has no organic standards for "aquaculture." For livestock this seal ensures that producers have met animal health and welfare standards, did not use antibiotics or growth hormones, used 100% organic feed, and provided animals with access to the outdoors. Several various of the label can be used such as " 100% Organic" (meaning all ingredients and processing aids must be organic); "Organic" (meaning it contains 95% or more organic ingredients) and "Made with Organic..." (meaning at least 70% of the ingredients are organic).

Low-Fat: Foods with this label must not have more than 3g of fat per serving. Note: Senger points out that this may not amount to much because low-fat products are on average only 11% lower in calories than the regular versions. The removed fat is often replaced with sugar.

Fat-Free: Foods with this label must have less than .5g of fat per serving.

Reduced-Fat: Foods with this label must have at least 25% less fat than the regular versions of those foods, "Reduced" is only relative to the original product of comparison not to any healthful standard.

Gluten-Free: To meet the FDA guidelines and carry the "gluten-free", "no gluten", "free of gluten", or "without gluten" label, a food product's gluten content must be less than 20 parts per million. Senger states in the article that this is a very "trendy" term and nutritional needs can vary a great deal from person to person and to keep in mind that a gluten-free product by no means equates to a healthier choice.

Grass-Fed: This term applies to ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep that were only fed mother's milk and forage (eating grazed or stored hay, grass, or other greens). These animals must have access to pasture during the growing season. If the "USDA Process Verified" shield accompanies a grass-fed label, this means USDA inspectors have verified the claim. If there is not a process verified shield, then it has not. Note: Grass-Fed does not indicate any limitations have been put on the use of antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. It also does not indicate year-round access to pasture. Be careful of similar labels and terminology such as "grass-finished" and "green-fed." These are not regulated terms.

Free-Range: If you see this USDA regulated label, it means that a poultry flock was provided shelter and unlimited access to food, fresh water, and access to the outdoors throughout the production cycle. However, the quality or size of the outside area and duration of outdoor access are not specified. Note: "Fee-Roaming" is not a regulated label.

Cage-Free: This label means that a flock could freely roam in an indoor or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during the production cycle. This label does not explain if the flock had any outdoor access or if they were raised in overcrowded conditions.

No Antibiotics Added: This USDA-regulated term may be used on labels for meat or poultry products if the producer provides sufficient supporting documentation, but there is no system in place to verify a claim of this type. Note: The term "antibiotic-free" has no regulatory definition.

No Hormones Administered: This USDA term applies to beef and dairy products. This claim is allowed if the producer provides sufficient documentation that no hormones have been used in raising the animals. Note: The terms "hormone-free" and "no hormones" are not permitted on the labels of beef, pork, or poultry products since animal proteins contain naturally occurring hormones regardless of production methods. 

Senger's full article can be found in the March 2015 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. The full article contains more comprehensive information on the above data and it also provides excellent information on  food marketing, how branding affects enjoyment, the "health halo" effect, neurological responses to food marketing, labeling regulations and limitations, "third-Party Labels", and other unregulated food marketing terms. Sounds technical, but it's a great read.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Time to Shop That Fall Marathon

Fall marathon shopping? Yep. Most runners have spring fever on their minds this time of year, planning out their spring 5K, 10Ks, and/or in training for those spring half and full marathons. But it’s also time to start planning ahead for fall.

Fall marathons have become so popular that many now cap the total number of runners and/or use a lottery system of registering runners. It’s no longer a given that you’ll get into NYC, Marine Corps, or Chicago, just to name a few. Even some smaller races have gone to a cap and lottery system in order to keep their races small and manageable. 

Because of the cap and lottery it’s best to have Plan B or maybe even a Plan C option. Many races open registration in the spring, but don't announce whether you've you’ve made the lottery until summer. There’s nothing more frustrating than to have started training for your race only to find out that you didn’t make the lottery and all the other races are closed.

There are other considerations too. Where do you want to run? Do you want to travel or stay local? Flat or hilly? Warmer climate or cold? Is your goal to run hard with the hopes of a PR or are you running to enjoy the view? Use this time to ask yourself these questions so you can shop for the race that best fits what you're looking for.

Also, use this time to prepare your family. They need to be on board with your training and racing
expectations. They need to know that you’ll have to put in lots of hours hitting the road or trail, particularly on the weekends. Are they expecting to go with you to the race? Racing and family trips often don’t mix very well unless you’ve set the ground work for expectations early on.

The Disney races have become extremely popular the past few years. Sounds awesome, but “The most magical place on earth” can quickly become Dante’s Inferno, if everyone isn’t on the same page. Exploring a 40 square-mile theme park the day before a marathon in which you plan to PR isn't the best idea. Is your spouse or significant other ready to tackle the park with kids solo? No kids? Is your spouse or significant other ready to do things solo or be stuck in the room? Seems like simple questions couples and/or families would have discussed, but they're often overlooked.

Below are some things to consider when planning your fall marathon:
  • List the races you’d like to do. Rank them in order of preference.
  • Find out if your race of preference has a cap and/or uses a lottery registration system. If it does, create a Plan B and Plan C in case you don't get your top choice.
  • Have a family meeting to discuss the upcoming training. Recruit their support. If the family is coming to the race, discuss what you will and will not be able to do during the trip.
  • Plan enough time to train (12-14 weeks for a half marathon; 16-18 weeks for a full-marathon)
  • Build your base mileage so you’ll begin your training strong and decrease your chance of injury.  The month before your training begins your totally weekly mileage if training for a half should be 15-20 miles. If training for a full marathon, it should be 20-25 miles.
  • Investigate lodging and travel details early. Hotels tend to book up fast for the larger races.
  • Mark your calendar with the race registration opening date. Popular races can fill up within minutes of registration opening. So mark your calendar not only with the date but the time of day that registration will begin so you can plan to be sitting at your computer at the ready. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

BRRR It's Cold Outside!! What to Wear on that Cold Run.

Not sure what to wear on these cold runs? Here's a few tips:

  • ·         Dress as if it's 10-15 degrees warmer than it really is. Your core temp will increase by that much when running, so if you dress for the "warm-up" you won't end up overheating from being overdressed.
  • ·         Layer up. Several layers of technical fabric helps with warmth and moisture management. Your perspiration will travel through the layers instead of ending up with one heavy, soggy layer. The number of layers needed will vary from person to person.  Also, with layers, you have the option to remove a layer if you got hot on the run. With one heavy layer, you're pretty much stuck unless you want to join the Polar Bear Club. :-)
  • ·         If it's windy and cold, wear a light wind breaker over top the layers to prevent the wind from penetrating the layers.
  • ·         Wear a cap that covers your ears. A lot of heat is lost at your head. Wearing a cap helps hold that heat in. Your ears can be at risk for frost bite if not covered, so be sure your cap is big enough to cover those lobes! ....or wear ear muffs or a wide headband that's designed to cover the ears.
  • ·         Don’t wear metal jewelry outdoors in the cold. Metal conducts cold, thus increasing your chances of frostbite. Uncovered ears donning metal earrings are particularly at risk!!
  • ·         Wear gloves. I prefer to wear mittens made of technical fabric with a wind barrier. I've found that by having my fingers together inside the mitten creates more heat and the wind barrier fabric holds in that body heat keeping my hands warmer. If I do wear gloves, I usually end up pulling my fingers out of the finger slots and balling them up inside the palm of the glove to get the same effect. Hand warmers work well too. There are a couple of different brands, but they all work the same. They look kind of like oversized tea bags. When exposed to air, they heat up. Stick one warmer in each glove and they work well in keeping your hands toasty.
  • ·         Keep those tootsies warm! Most running shoes are designed to breathe. In the winter though, that can mean chilly feet! To keep your feet warm, try wearing two thinner layers of socks. This will help increase warmth as well as help with moisture management. There are also some great fabrics such as SmartWool, that works well in keeping feet warm.
  • ·         Not clothing related, but still important....Stay hydrated. You sweat just a much in the winter as you do in the summer. But the less humid atmosphere of winter creates a deceptive perception that you're not sweating as much. Because it's not as humid, your perspiration evaporates quickly instead of staying on your skin and/or soaking your clothing. Kind of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome. So, be sure to hydrate before, during, and after your run.
Runner's World has a great tool for helping you determine what to wear based on various cold weather conditions. Check it out here